In this article, you will get all the information regarding Putin visits Mariupol as part of surprise tour of occupied Ukraine
President Vladimir Putin made a surprise weekend visit to the war-torn port of Mariupol, state media reported, the Kremlin leader’s first visit to the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine’s Donbass region since the start of the conflict.
The visit comes after Russia visited Crimea on Saturday in an unannounced visit to mark the ninth anniversary of the peninsula’s annexation from Ukraine and two days after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for the Russian leader.
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Putin has yet to publicly comment on the ICC warrant, but his visits to Ukrainian territory claimed by Russia were seen by some observers as acts of defiance.
Mariupol fell in May after one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the war, marking Russia’s first major victory after it failed to capture Kiev and instead focused on southeastern Ukraine.
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The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said the initial bombing of the maternity hospital by Russia was a war crime.
Russian news agencies, citing the Kremlin, reported that Putin flew by helicopter to Mariupol for “a working visit”.
He traveled through several districts of the city, stopping and talking to residents.
It is the closest Putin has been to the front lines since the year-long war began.
The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Putin on Friday, accusing him of war crimes for illegally deporting hundreds of children from Ukraine, a highly symbolic move that further alienates the Russian leader.
While Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has made several trips to the battlefield to boost the morale of his troops and talk strategy, Putin has remained inside the Kremlin while Russia conducts its “special military operation” in Ukraine. Is.
Kiev and its allies say the invasion, now in its 13th month, is an imperialist land grab that has killed thousands and displaced millions in Ukraine.
‘a beautiful city’
Russian media reported that Putin visited a family home in Mariupol’s Nevsky district. The new residential neighborhood is built by the Russian military with the first people in last September.
Residents are “actively” returning, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusulin, who was with Putin, was quoted as saying by Russian agencies.
Before the war, Mariupol had a population of half a million and was home to the Azovstal Steel Plant, one of Europe’s largest.
“The city has been badly damaged,” Khusnullin said. “We want to finish (the reconstruction) of the center by the end of the year, at least for the facade part. The center is very beautiful.
Russian media aired video showing the Russian leader driving a car at night through a built-up area as well as what the media said was the Philharmonic, which had been restored in only three months.
There was also no immediate reaction to the visit to Kiev.
Mariupol is in the Donetsk region, one of four regions that Putin moved in September. Kiev and its Western allies called the move illegal.
Donetsk, along with the Luhansk region, comprises most of the Donbass industrialized part of Ukraine which has seen the biggest fighting in Europe for generations.
Russian media reported on Sunday that Putin also met with top commanders of its military operation in Ukraine, including Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov, who is in charge of Moscow’s war in Ukraine.
Putin visits Mariupol as part of surprise tour of occupied Ukraine
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